Recession: Rise in emergency grants for teachers

30th October 2009 at 00:00
Requests for emergency financial support soar by 120% while 72% more cash is distributed

Original paper headline: Recession-hit teachers badly out of pocket

The amount of money given to teachers in emergency grants has grown rapidly over the past year in the wake of the recession, according to figures from a leading charity.

The Teacher Support Network (TSN) fielded more than 1,300 calls asking for financial support - an increase of 120 per cent in a year, statistics show.

Almost pound;111,500 was distributed to teachers working in England and Wales in schools, colleges and universities, 72 per cent higher than the same period last year.

The amount of cash jumped from almost pound;64,800 in summer 2008 to pound;82,000 in the winter term last year before surging again this summer.

Julian Stanley, TSN chief executive, said: "The massive rise in grants awarded demonstrates the continued effects of the recession.

"Grants are awarded to those experiencing the highest levels of financial difficulty, and we have also seen an increase in priority debt grants, such as council tax and mortgage payments, suggesting more teachers are in more serious financial trouble.

"The figures demonstrate the extensive need for a diverse range of emotional and practical support for teachers."

The charity said that a significant proportion of the increases were the result of teachers' partners losing their jobs, which drove down household income.

Figures published last month by the General Teaching Council for England showed a 50 per cent-plus rise in the number of registered supply teachers.

Professor John Howson, a teacher recruitment expert, attributed the increase to the recession, which has heightened fears about job security.

Teachers who have left the profession are reregistering to keep their options open in the economic downturn, he suggested.

Enquiries about working conditions and personal issues also more than doubled over the past year, the TSN figures show.

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